Hima Misha, 35, is the Coordinator at Marie Stopes Nepal’s Meri Sathi Call Centre in Kathmandu.
The Call Centre was established in 2011 and serves an average of 3000 unique callers per month with four full-time counsellors. They provide counselling on sexual and reproductive health issues, adolescent and youth issues and manage client follow-ups. 70% of callers are between the ages of 15 and 24. Callers are primarily male.
In addition to providing counselling through the help-line, counsellors also respond to queries through the Marie Stopes Nepal run radio program khulduli.com, and social media platforms including their Rockets and Space Facebook page that has over 75,000 followers.
Hima’s day-to-day duties include planning, managing staff rosters, counselling, and maintaining their various social media platforms. She has been working with Marie Stopes Nepal for twelve years and has been managing the Call Centre since its inception. Hima says:
“This help-line service is really valuable because clients don’t have to spend time and money to travel to a centre for simple concerns. Many times, people are shy to ask questions in person and find it easier to speak to someone on the phone. Young people especially have very few places where they can access information and services for sexual and reproductive health.”
“In my twelve years of working with Marie Stopes Nepal, I have seen how the prevalence of mobile phones and social media has changed the way we can reach young people. It is so much easier now. Of course social media comes with its set of risks too, but we are happy to help young people prevent unsafe sex and other risks. It is also great that we are able to reach both rural and urban youth through this help-line service.”